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February 24, 2017
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On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order placing "regulatory reform" task forces within federal agencies to help identify "costly and unnecessary regulations." The watchdog groups created by Trump will reportedly have 90 days to examine existing regulations and identify which "can be repealed or modified," The Hill reported.

Trump signed the order shortly after reiterating his pledge to nix "75 percent of the repetitive, horrible regulations that hurt companies [and] hurt jobs" during a speech Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. At a meeting with business executives last month, Trump suggested he might cut even more than 75 percent of existing regulations.

Trump has already signed an executive order that aims to slash two existing regulations for every new regulation introduced. Becca Stanek

February 23, 2017

President Donald Trump met with manufacturing executives Thursday to discuss "tax and trade, regulatory reform, and jobs," Fox News reports.

"Today we have [here] 24 CEOs from the largest manufacturing companies in the country, and even in the world," Trump said. "They represent — people just in this room — nearly $1 trillion of sales and two million employees, large majorities of which are in the United States."

During the roundtable, Trump touted the creation of 1,800 Lockheed Martin jobs, which were announced earlier this month, as well as Walmart's plan to create 10,000 U.S. jobs this year, which was announced prior to Trump's inauguration.

Trump also took time to engage with the CEOs, asking the Lockheed Martin CEO if she would have wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election, telling the CEO of Caterpillar that "Caterpillars are the best," and replying to the Campbell Soup Company CEO's introduction with "good soup." Jeva Lange

February 22, 2017
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On Wednesday, the Trump administration reversed a directive issued in May 2016 by former President Barack Obama, which said transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms at public schools that match their gender identity if it differs from their birth sex.

Obama's guidance was not legally binding, but advocates said it was needed to protect transgender students from being discriminated against. The Justice and Education departments sent letters to schools on Wednesday saying the earlier directive led to confusion and lawsuits, but anti-bullying measures won't be affected. Now, states and school districts will decide if federal anti-discrimination laws apply to gender identity. Catherine Garcia

February 22, 2017

During an unannounced visit Wednesday to the recently vandalized Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri, Vice President Mike Pence declared there is "no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism." More than a hundred tombstones were damaged or toppled over the weekend at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery, located just outside of St. Louis, part of a trend of increasing acts of anti-Semitism across the nation.

"We condemn this vile act of vandalism and those that perpetrate it in the strongest possible terms," Pence said, noting the vandalism is a "sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate." Pence was in Missouri on Wednesday for a meeting with executives at a Fabick Cat plant.

The vice president's condemnation of anti-Semitism came just a day after President Trump vowed the "horrible" and "painful" anti-Semitic threats are "going to stop."

Catch a snippet of Pence's remarks below. Becca Stanek

February 22, 2017
NASA

NASA announced Wednesday that it has found an entire solar system that could potentially support life. Some 40 light-years away lies a grouping of seven planets, all roughly the size of Earth, orbiting closely around a single dwarf star. Scientists initially reported the system last year, but at that point they only knew of three planets orbiting the star.

The discovery, uncovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, sets the record for "the most Earth-sized planets and most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star," NPR reported. NASA noted in a press release that all seven of the planets could have "liquid water — key to life as we know it — under the right atmospheric conditions." "This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "Answering the question 'Are we alone?' is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal."

Scientists plan to further explore the solar system. But already, University of Leiden astronomy professor Ignas Snellen said, the discovery indicates these systems are "even more common than previously thought." Becca Stanek

February 21, 2017

On Tuesday, Milo Yiannopoulos announced his resignation from Breitbart News, where he was a senior editor. Yiannopoulos' departure follows the release of two video clips in which he made comments seemingly condoning pedophilia. In one of the clips he joked about his childhood sexual encounter with a Catholic priest, and in the other he seemed to "speak sympathetically of certain relationships between adult men and 13-year-old boys," CNN reported.

Earlier Tuesday, Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow deemed the remarks "indefensible" and "troubling," though he said "the left" has done worse. "I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart effective immediately," Yiannopoulos said in a statement. "This decision is mine alone."

On Monday, Yiannopoulos lost a $250,000 book deal with Simon & Schuster and was disinvited from speaking at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference due to his comments.

Yiannopoulos wrote on Facebook after the video clips were released that he does "not support pedophilia," which he called a "vile and disgusting crime." "I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim," he wrote. "My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous."

Read Yiannopoulos' statement of resignation in full below. Becca Stanek

February 21, 2017

President Trump denounced anti-Semitism and declared that it is "going to stop and it has to stop" while speaking Tuesday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. "The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible, and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump said. He said the FBI and the Justice Department will investigate "possible civil rights violations in connection with threats" to Jewish community centers across the U.S.

The Anti-Defamation League has called on Trump to address anti-Semitism in the wake of recent threats on Jewish community centers. Since early January, 54 Jewish community centers in 27 states have reported threats. Most recently, a community center in Wisconsin was evacuated Monday after a bomb threat was called in, the second in just three weeks.

On Tuesday, Trump heartily agreed when a reporter asked him if he was denouncing anti-Semitism "once and for all." "Oh of course," Trump said. "And I do it — wherever I get a chance, I do it." But when he was asked about the rise of anti-Semitic violence at a press conference last week, Trump did not address the violence directly but rather simply assured reporters he was the "least anti-Semitic person you have ever seen."

Trump received a similar question during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also last week, and only vaguely responded by saying he would "stop racism."

Trump's comments followed a tweet from his daughter Ivanka Trump on Monday night reminding America that it is a "nation built on the principle of religion tolerance," and a tweet from Hillary Clinton early Tuesday urging him to speak out against the violence. Watch Trump's denouncement below. Becca Stanek

February 21, 2017
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On Tuesday, an Israeli military court handed Sgt. Elor Azaria an 18-month prison sentence for fatally shooting a wounded Palestinian knife attacker in Hebron last March, less than the 3-5 years sought by prosecutors. The shooting of the 21-year-old Palestinian man, captured on video, split opinion in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right allies calling for Azaria to be pardoned and military officials arguing that a soldier shooting a disarmed, immobilized prisoner is contrary to Israeli military values. A three-judge military judicial panel had convicted Azaria of manslaughter in January. Peter Weber

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